Another book that we borrowed from in the early days was Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney. It talks about how all the companies with the largest IPOs in the past decades have gone out and created their own categories.

But the trick here is that the category can’t just be about the company — it has to be about something bigger.

So instead of only talking about Drift, we also spend a lot of time trying to grow the category of conversational marketing.

That’s why we started the Conversational Marketing University and that’s why we wrote the book on conversational marketing.

And these are just two recent examples. We do all kinds of things to educate people about conversational marketing and to help them understand why it matters. We do it because we firmly believe that when the category grows, people will associate it with Drift. And eventually, they will come back to us.

But the problem is that having a category isn’t enough — you also need a movement. You need a cause. Something to stand for.

One of our favorite examples of this comes from Salesforce:

When Marc Benioff founded Salesforce, he created a new category: Cloud-based CRM. But he also needed a hook — something that would get people interested in the category.

And so together with his team, he started a movement known as The End Of Software.

At the time, the No Software movement was attractive, because it promised to free companies from clunky software, on-premise servers and annual contracts. It simply offered them a more flexible way of buying and using a CRM.

And because the pain points of traditional software were so widely accepted, it wasn’t difficult to convince people to jump ship.

Taking a page from Benioff’s book, we chose our cause. Known as the No Forms movement, we publicly swore off lead forms and started promoting a more conversational way of marketing and selling.

What we didn’t know then was just how big the whole thing would become. But as it turned out, a lot of marketers had spent a long time cursing lead forms. No one had just gone out and said it out loud before.

And while the No Forms movement was definitely bigger than Drift, we were able to reach a lot of people and get them interested in the category first and then the product. All because we had a shared enemy: Poor user experience.

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